High blood pressure: Lifestyle changes to reduce dangers
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High blood pressure is a driver behind several chronic diseases, and the condition is rife in the UK. According to recent findings, chemicals present in four types of food packaging could raise the odds of hypertension by a staggering 71 percent. Some health bodies have gone to the extent of advising against the use of certain products.
The class of manmade chemicals was recently linked to a significantly increased risk of high blood pressure.
According to Erik D Olson, senior strategic director of health and food at NRDC, the chemicals pose three main risks to human health.
He noted: “First, the structure of PFAS means they resist breakdown in the environment and in our bodies.
“Second, they move relatively quickly through the environment, making the contamination hard to contain.
“Third, for some PFAS, even extremely low levels of exposure can negatively impact our health.”
This was recently demonstrated in a study, which warned cumulative exposure to PFAS during midlife could increase the risk of incident hypertension among ageing women.
The findings warned that women exposed to higher levels of the chemical could be at 71 percent greater risk of developing hypertension.
Researchers came to the findings after analysing blood samples available for 1,058 midlife women who were hypertension free at the outset of the study.
The scientists concluded their study with the statement: “Several PFAS showed positive associations with the incidence of hypertension.”
Ieva Kubiliute, Wellness Psychologist at Oliolusso, added: “Forever chemicals perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctane sultanate are tied to a number of health issues, including liver and thyroid disease, cancer, hormone disruption, reproductive harm and slow response to vaccines.
“We all know that forever is associated with lasting. Forever chemicals are also in that line – your body cannot digest them and they hardly decompose.
“[…] Forever chemicals are everywhere. Besides food, water and clothes, we can also find them around our houses and offices.
“This explains why avoiding them is nearly impossible.”
Modes of transmission can occur in several ways, but the health platform Chem Trust warns four types of food packaging may contain higher levels of PFAS.
These are takeaway containers, popcorn bags, pizza boxes and packaging used for ready-made cakes.
PFAS are particularly abundant in any packaging which uses a grease-resistant base, which enables the chemicals to infiltrate our food system too.
The NRDC, therefore, recommends avoiding heating up food that is wrapped in grease-resistant packaging.
It also recommends making popcorn on the stovetop, as opposed to using microwave bags treated with PFAS.
It should be noted that foods that come from the soil, water and air, can also be contaminated with PFAS, notes the NRDC.
Scientists have previously detected high amounts of the chemical in fish and shellfish sold for human consumption in the US.
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